While on my walk through the woods this morning, I found myself unexpectedly crying– no weeping, actually. Good thing I didn’t stumble upon anyone else—what a weirdo, walking through the woods, crying. Ruby kept turning around to check on me and I would need to assure her I was alright—how I love my canine companion. She is truly the most intuitive, lovely creature I’ve ever known.
Looking at the fall leaves, the withering plants, the change of season — I was thinking about how time is continually moving forward, uncompromisingly and unapologetically, moving forward. Tomorrow, my son Austin will turn twenty. Twenty. Even as I write this, I find myself emotional again. I remember every single detail about the day he was born. The absolute, transforming exhilaration of holding him in my arms the first time. His ginormous (I know that’s not a real word, but it fits) eyes–brown orbs, quietly, knowingly, gazing up into my face. I loved him instantly and fiercely. There was no measure or limit to what I would (or wouldn’t) do to keep him safe. And now he is twenty, and though I still feel the same way, I’m not sure how to keep him safe. Safe in life, in love, in all things. How do we extend our protective shield over our adult children? He called me a few weeks ago, late one evening, looking for advice. My heart soared and I was absolutely slayed. I’m not sure I can adequately express how much that meant to me. He wanted to talk to me… he valued my opinion and in a lost moment, I was the one he turned to. I was/am so incredibly grateful.
There is still a lingering feeling as though I am losing a tiny bit of SOMEthing with every passing day — that I have one less day… one less day with the people I care about, one less day doing the things I love, just one less day. The reality is we need to be here, really be here. I am reminded just how impossibly important it is to be present. To inhale and feel it all—the joy, the pain, and everything in between. There’s no rewind but maybe there is a “pause” button. Maybe that’s why I take photos—a small moment, captured. I just know that I NEED to take photos.
This fall is literally blazing by—in both color and speed. And so in the midst of this busy season, I recommit myself to being truly present. I promise to treasure the little moments: the first cup of coffee in the morning, the way it feels to kiss Emmett’s cheek when he is still warm from sleep, the way my feet slip into place with Philip’s, the musky, woodsy smell of Ruby’s fur, and the beautiful brown eyes of my patient, knowing son Austin—except instead of gazing up at me, I am the one gazing up at him. The love is still fierce and protective…just in case he needs it even at Twenty…